Retraining Manufacturing Veterans in Toledo

What does it take to retrain middle-aged factory workers?

NPR takes a look at the process in this story about a Toledo-area couple, both in their 50s, who are back in high school learning algebra and training for their first white-collar jobs.

The effort paid off for Jim Buford, who recently got a job installing solar panels.


Toledo is attempting to remake itself as a alternative energy hub. It is home to First Solar, the world’s largest manufacturer of thin-film solar cells.

University of Toledo has gotten in on the action and is attempting to position itself to become a leader in solar research. The university received $2.6 million from the federal government last year for this type of research.

When you drive past First Solar in Toledo, it’s kinda eerie because it looks just like an auto plant.

This just goes to show you, it takes a lot of work and cooperation, but this can be done. Toledo deserves a lot of credit for this.

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